Military deployments have been known to contribute tremendously to the P.T.S.D effects on the families of the veteran soldiers. This is worse when the families get to watch horrific scenes from the television of areas where their loved ones have been deployed. To the soldier, the effects usually vary depending on a few factors, one of them being the length of the deployment mission.
This means that, P.T.S.D effects will be greater depending on the duration of the exposure to such a stressor. The effects are even worse to the partner who is left behind; whether wife or husband because they are required to care for the children and the thought of being the sole bread winner makes the whole situation sad. Children are affected more since they are not able to enjoy the affection of both their parents whom they were used to.
Despite such dilemmas, the military leaders have come up with programs which are meant to offer counseling to the soldiers when they return home from such a horrifying mission. More so, the families of such persons are also assured that their loved ones will be allowed a limited duration to such missions since a prolonged stay, say in Iraq or any other place is known to cause P.T.S.D severely. Generally there is hope for the military soldiers and families who are at risk of getting P.T.S.D, now and in the future.
PTSD affects on the family
According to Moon (63) once the soldier returns home after the mission, the family members will begin to notice certain changes. These changes are contributed to the trauma of war that the veteran had to endure. Changes include nightmares during sleep which could occur on regular basis. The author adds that, the changes could affect the entire family members in a negative manner. This entails the members of the family dedicating their time so as to comfort or offer support to the “soldier”.
As a result the members are not able to continue with their normal duties, which was usually the case. This creates disruption in the event whereby, the running of; for example a family business is discontinued so as to cater for that PTSD soldier. Worse still, the children are affected when they notice the weird behavior from say their father and this in turn affects their school performance.
Moon still argues that, the family members usually act differently when a loved one is traumatized and a proper intervention is the only solution (12). According to Ursano and Norwood (5) cited that Reuben Hill came up with his first report which enabled him to develop the ABCX model that outlined the PTSD crisis.
With this, he was able to discover that there was an increase in somatic distress in wives of the Israeli veterans. Psychiatric distress was also reported among these women hence affecting their lives completely before help was taken. PTSD was mainly vulnerable to a special population class such of single parents’ households and joint service marriages.
PTSD effects could also take another shift whereby the family members could begin experiencing nightmares of their loved ones who are out deployed in a mission. In their visions they may picture the person getting injuries or even being killed. Such incidences could make the wife or husband who is left at home; fear the shift of roles whereby he or she may end up acting as the bread winner if such a vision would come true. Ursano and Norwood (9).
OIF/OEF Combat Soldiers
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) have become quite important for the after-action review (AAR). The reason for this is that, future operations will have to be based on this when preparation for such missions are to be undertaken. The challenges encountered during the OIF phase are not the same ones with those that happen today.
For the soldiers who return in the later phases, a lot of differences are noticed as far as tactics and techniques are concerned. In general, there has been a change in how AAR gives their testimonies to their superiors who are in charge. (Stone 58)
In some cases the AARs exercises are not undertaken since they are considered to be painful and tedious. However, the soldiers understand the importance of this task. Opinions and ideas on Global war against terrorism have progressed; therefore the Marines have learned more tactics on how to improve their “game”.
With respect to that, leaders of these groups are trying to speak with the soldiers who are returning from the war hoping that they will change their programs and be able to accommodate or match with the current student’s techniques and procedures. In April, the 89th Military Police Brigade’s deployment was involved with an internal AAR meeting whereby they recorded their work for future reference.
According to Stone, the leaders were able to answer all their listeners’ questions, which revolved around their stay in Iraq. The listeners included the soldiers who were deployed in Iraq the previous year. The two experiences were quite different since they happened in different timeline. Many students who were anticipated to leave for Iraq learnt a lot when they were briefed on what to expect once they arrived there.
Stone adds that, after the 89th team left, a team of about six leaders was sent by the 16th Military. It was organized that the leaders were to meet with some of the group instructors of the known Directorate of Training and Leader Development (DTLD), for the AAR to comment on how the OIF could be shared. This helped for the future improvement of their training programs as included in the AAR comments.
The author adds that, the pictures and layouts presentation were used so as to demonstrate a detailed description that was experienced in those events. For the listeners, the experience was quite frightening though educative in the long run.
To clear up the happening, it should be noted that the two happenings that is; the 16th and 89th Military and Police Brigades were mostly edged on reshaping the canon of the 14th Military Police Brigade. The author concludes that sharing of such experiences using the appropriate forums was one of the best training in the Military force.
P.T.S.D is a common occurrence among the families of the military soldiers as described above. Measures of dealing with this kind of problem have been formulated by the government authorities and the most viable one is that the soldiers should be deployed in such areas for a specific duration. The limitation is meant to lower down the chances of getting the P.T.S.D which in the long run can affect the rest of the family.
On the other hand, OIF/OEF combat soldiers can proof helpful in future plans. This means that they can help the Military to come up with the ideal tactics and techniques that can be used when a deployment mission is to be undertaken. In general, if this approach is used the military will not experience the challenges that they have had to encounter in the past years.
Moon, Poppy. Sand Play Therapy with U.S. Soldiers Diagnosed With PTSD
And Their Families. Article 13 p 63-66. 1997 Print
Stone, Heather. Military police Soldiers share OIF/OEF experiences with the regiment. World Peace Newspaper. July 2005. April 14th 2010.
Ursano, Robert & Norwood, Ann. Emotional Aftermath of the Persian Gulf War: Veterans, families, communities and actions. American Psychiatric Press, Inc. Washington, DC. 1996. Print.